Book Beginnings – 18th February 2022

Book beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and it is a chance to share the first sentence or so of a book you’ve reading, about to read or recently read.

The book I’d like to share this week is ‘Idol’ by Louise O’Neill!

3 January 2022 2,868,635

Samantha watched the girls as they filed into the event hall, tilting their heads back to stare at the ornate vaulted ceiling with its oversized chandeliers dripping silver and blue crystals. They elbowed one another in the ribs, mouths open, as if to say – Look at that! Can you believe it? Her publisher hadn’t wanted to hire this space for her book launch. They said it was a waste of money, money that could be used more ‘efficiently’ for marketing, subway posters, targeted ads on Instagram, and she had simply waited until they’d stopped arguing, waving their Excel sheets and projected budgets like white flags, pitching other, cheaper venues, and when they had worn themselves out, she’d smiled sweetly and said, ‘It has to be the Ballroom, I’m afraid. My girls deserve the best.’ And look at them now , she thought,staring at the monitor screen backstage as they unbuttoned coats and shook out hair flattened by the cheap berets they hoped would make them look sophisticated, even French, perhaps, tucking their New Yorker tote bags under the red, velvet seats. They were young, in their early to mid-twenties, and pretty with their winged eyeliner and red lipstick. They wore heeled booties from Forever 21 and ribbed dresses from Zara and they were mostly white, but that wasn’t her fault; as her manager always reminded her, it was just the demographic for this sort of event. Really, it had nothing to do with Sam; she’d always fostered an inclusive atmosphere in her workshops, insisting that everyone was welcome regardless of race, sexuality, or gender identification. But in the end, it was these girls who had come to her – these nice, white girls – and Sam knew it was her responsibility to help them the way she wished someone had helped her when she was their age.

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